About Thomas

Major Gift FundRaiser

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Thomas D. Wilson – My Story

Tom Wilson, trusted advisor & coach of MajorGiftsFundraising.com, started in major gift fundraising – as a turnaround campaign consultant for the Ravinia Festival (summer home of the Chicago Symphony).

Wilson is a musician by training – classical clarinet, jazz saxophone, and orchestra conductor. He taught high school and served as an executive director in the arts. Tom can work with complex organizations with tough-minded, brilliant professionals – musicians, faculty, doctors and other clinicians.

Tom paid his dues in corporate and foundation fundraising for a major cultural institution in Chicago as well as serving as a chief philanthropy officer in higher education and a symphonic orchestra.

He was brought in by his prior consulting firm as a campaign turnaround specialist as resident counsel. Given these experiences he created numerous successful campaigns from getting ready through goal achievement.

“I heard Tom speak at an AHP conference 10 years ago his about his wonderful book, Winning Gifts. Through your skillful support and guidance, wisdom and good humor, the Brain Centre Campaign raised over $70 million. Tom, you were a big part of our success, thank you.”

Tom has degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Northwestern University. His book, Winning Gifts: Make Your Donors Feel Like Winners, was published by Wiley & Sons with the endorsement of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Publishing Committee. Tom frequently presents at conferences – AHP (healthcare fundraisers), AAMC (academic medical center fundraisers), CASE (for higher education), PSI (for Adventist fundraisers), and AFP.

Tom is a certified facilitator for Peter Drucker’s The 5 Most Important Questions self-assessment tool. S He served twice as president of AFP Oregon & Southwest Washington.

Books & Publications

 By Thomas D. Wilson

Winning Gifts  – Make Your Donors Feel Like Winners